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Comment Re:Who cares? (not me..) (Score 1) 130

Disk space is incredibly cheap compared to the standard size of a docker image and your "attack surface" is going to be limited in a docker image anyway. Sure, your application loaded in your docker image might add to that surface, but that's going to happen if you use the big image or the small one. The only real reason to do this is so you can run docker images on smaller embedded devices where resources are limited (Not that I see much of that yet).

IMHO, this development is meaningless to me. Thanks for the disk space back, but I didn't really need it...

For people running certain common configurations, this is actually very helpful. Docker containers are often used on home file servers. You could put docker containers on your storage array, but then you would be spinning up multiple disks every time you needed to read/write to the docker image. I have an older (small) SSD drive which I keep my docker containers on. The less space Docker uses, the more space I have left on the SSD to do something useful (like caching writes to the spinning disks). Making software have a smaller footprint is never a bad thing if the functionality remains the same.

Comment Re:From the people who brought you (Score 1) 35

This screams What could possibly go wrong? and I'm sure there will plenty of Hey Earl...Watch this!

Actually it is a very good idea. The best games know when to dial up the action or horror, and when you've had enough action and are getting fatigued, give you a little break. Timing is everything. F.E.A.R. (the original one) had especially good timing with scary moments, as did Halflife 2 with action sequences. Valve put out a paper (PDF) which includes some information on how they were analyzing "emotional intensity" (page 77 of PDF) in Left 4 Dead and having the AI Director adjust the amount of action based on the player's situation and how stressed they may be. The game can't measure player stress directly, so it used information in the game such as player health and whether they were under attack. Usually this results in good decisions and an enjoyable player experience, but the measurement of player stress are indirect so sometimes the AI Director makes the wrong choice.

Having an AI Director such as the one in L4D hooked up to an EEG could allow for a game that adjusts difficulty / action / horror based on the player's actual emotional state. All other things being equal, it should result in more enjoyable games.

Comment Re:All for free!!!! (Score 2) 150

Not to mention that you can't start a gas turbine and immediately subject it to full load. It needs several minutes to heat up, bring the oil to operating temperature, and get any temporary "bow" out of the turbine rotor.

I'm no expert in gas turbines but I appreciate the need to warm them up. With that said, can there be fuel savings made between leaving the gate and bringing the engine to an operational status just prior to reaching the end of the runway? Or is taxi-ing a part of the warm up profile of the engine?

I am not an expert in aviation turbines, but the land-based ones generally need about 10 minutes between starting and full load. This varies by manufacturer and by model. On the land side, most machines have an Equivalent Operating Hours (EOH) counter built into the control system. An hour operating under typical conditions is 1 EOH. A cold startup can be counted anywhere from 25 to 100 EOH depending on the manufacturer. Other events, such as an flame-out, compressor stall, hard shutdown, emergency stop, etc. typically have big EOH penalties also. The maintenance schedule is typically based on EOH.

I am not sure if the flying turbines have the same scheme, but they are essentially the same machine so the design considerations are similar, even if the maintenance plan differs.

Comment Re:All for free!!!! (Score 3, Interesting) 150

The system will involve embedding a hydrogen fuel cell on board the aeroplanes, with the energy captured from the brakes on landing able to power the jet on the ground. This technique is similar to the high-end kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) used in Formula One cars, which store recovered energy to later use for acceleration.

TFA mentions harvesting the braking energy as being similar to KERS used in Formula 1. But no mention is made of the additional mass or equipment (unsprung at that) that would be needed to be added to the landing gear in order to harvest that energy. Such equipment needing to be robust and large enough to capture a worthwhile amount of energy in the 10 seconds of braking that a plane experiences when landing. For the rest of the 99.9999% of the flight this is dead weight that the plane has to burn fuel in order to carry it around.

So color me surprised if anyone really thinks that is practical. (let alone the bizarre notion that the recovered energy could somehow be funneled into a hydrogen based fuel cell - super cap yes! fuel cell ? are you kidding me?)

It would probably make more sense to assign a tractor to drag each aircraft from the gate to the start of the runway rather than use the planes fuel to taxi around.

Not to mention that you can't start a gas turbine and immediately subject it to full load. It needs several minutes to heat up, bring the oil to operating temperature, and get any temporary "bow" out of the turbine rotor. Going from idle to full power (as in every takeoff ever) on a warm engine is somewhat detrimental to the engine since it results in huge temperature differentials. The engine is designed to handle this, but shortening the taxi/idle time is not a good idea and probably is outside of the turbine manufacturer's original design intentions.

Comment Re:Rip-off (Score 1) 182

Try pricing out any Professional tool or Software. AutoCAD is $1,680/year, Adobe CC is $700 / year. It's not like every desktop in the government is going to have this software.

Those professional software tools you mention both have periodic updates and customer support. Those things have ongoing costs. A font is designed once and most are never updated. Updating a font and keeping the same name probably would cause big problems! I realize that a professional-level font takes time to create, but once it is done, it is done. Installing a font is trivial and software problems with a properly designed font are rare. Ongoing licensing costs are just greed and provide no value. It would be like the builder of a new house asking for $500 a year and not providing any service in return.

Comment Re:ridiculous scan density (Score 1) 41

who needs an archival scan of NEWSPRINT TEXT at 600+DPI? Most paper photographs (remember those?) only have about 300DPI worth of information on them *if you are lucky*, you'd be wasting your time scanning any higher for those. Making legal digital duplicates of typeset documents only requires 150DPI (which is the same as standard Fax which also happens to be a legal service method).

(source: several years experience dealing with document archiving and photo digitising on a commercial as well as a personal basis)

Legal requirements on DPI probably are intended to make something legible. Making something pleasantly readable is a higher bar. Newspaper printing is was an analog process, especially for old newspapers. 300DPI is readable and probably fine, for today. 20 years from now it is going to seem like be the equivalent of a wax cylinder recording.

Comment Re:OCR? (Score 1) 41

It's obviously more than just OCR, because when you mouse over the page it will hightlight each article you're looking at, however oddly that article was fit into the page (including highlighting associated pictures, etc). That's actually a pretty cool site, in fact that archive might even be a better reason to get a subscription than the actual current edition.

The free preview doesn't give you much, but it does show the issue from February 1, 1979. In the top right is a story about Ayatollah Khomeini arriving back in Iran from exile, which is interesting to see the contemporary story. On the bottom-left of the front page is a smaller article, without pictures, that continues on page 21. Here's the headline:

Security Agency Holds A Quiet, Crucial Power Over Communications

The article begins "For the last quarter century, one of the Government's most secret agencies has played an important, largely undisclosed role in shaping the nation's privately owned ..." (that's your free preview). If I zoom in on the paper I think I can make out the rest of that sentence as "... communications network of [broadcast towers?], underground cables, satellites, and computers." The list of subjects on that article lists astronautics, communications, internal security, internal communications, National Security Agency, telephones, and United States. 37 years ago today the NY Times was reporting on the NSA holding power over the communications infrastructure of the US.

Page 4 has an ad for the latest TI calculators, available at Bloomingdale's.

This story is on page 7:

SOLAR ENERGY HELD STILL DECADES AWAY Panel Does Not Expect Major Shift Until Technology Is Ready for Conversion in Electricity A panel of leading specialists, convened a year ago at the request of the White House to assess prospects for generating electric power from sunlight, has concluded that the ultimate prospects are "bright" but that for at least a decade the technology will not be sufficiently advanced to initiate a major conversion effort.

Old newspapers are very interesting. I thought I knew all about World War II. Then I started reading the newspaper, starting in October 1938. I am reading the Canberra Times, since it is freely available on the internet. And Australia has such a great website to read it on! It's a bit sad that the Library of Congress doesn't seem to have this kind of system for American newspapers. I guess that's what living in a society that believes in perpetual copyright gets you.

Comment Re:won't work. (Score 2) 220

Everyone's use-case is different, you can't design it in such a way that all parts consistently fail at the same time.

And it is not "nothing lasts forever despite design" it is "obsolescence is in the design".

There is a different, but related philosophy- to design a machine in such a way that with a simple action, the entire product falls completely to pieces, allowing for easy recycling of the materials. My engineering professor used the example of a car with a special bolt under the back seat. Unfasten the bolt and all the aluminum falls to one side, all the steel to the other side, and all the plastic falls straight down. Obviously that is a fantasy example and 100% disassembly will be impossible for products of any real complexity, but if we must live in a world of disposable goods, trying a little harder to make them more easily recyclable is the next best thing.

Comment Re:brewster's millions (Score 1) 171

Yeah obviously that's where they got the idea. To be clear, its from the 1985 version. There are five versions of it, although I've only seen two of them.

Actually according to wikipedia the novel or play has been adapted into films ten times, three of which were produced in India. Although if you go down the page to the film list there are 11 listed.

Comment Re:Hey! That guy stole my idea! (Score 1) 171

Too late. That and variations on it have been tried in several countries -- so far with little success as far as changing outcomes is concerned.

From what I remember (and it may be urban legend as it has been a long while since I heard of it) some guy once registered a whole bunch of phone companies with names like "anyone", "the first one" etc. So that when people were wanting to be connected by the operator (this was way back when) and the operator asked them which long distance service to use the callers not caring who they were routed through replied with things like "anyone" etc so that their response matched one of these companies. The operator then duly connected them via the explicitly named company. The kicker was that it the back end he leased his service from the main players but charged a huge premium above what a regular long service would charge.

I would not be surprised whatsoever if that were true. In Texas, we have an electricity market and can choose the company that generates our electricity. When I lived in Connecticut, they had the same sort of market. Some of the companies are actual electricity producers (Reliant/NRG, Startex/Constellation/Exelon, etc) while some are just utilities on paper. The paper utilities range from active ones, who buy and sell electricity on the market minute by minute, to passive ones, who basically just resell at a higher price. The resellers at the bottom are of varying grades of sleaziness. I've seen lawn signs planted on public land advertising electricity at about 20% higher than average. Same scam, different implementation.

Comment Re:Sad they are not doing anything much these days (Score 1) 428

As insane and nasty as Steve Jobs apparently was as a person, he at least seems to have had a technological vision. Which seemingly cannot be said of the current CEO, whose vision seems to extend as far as adding new Emojis to the line-up.

The sad thing is that Apple would be uniquely positioned to introduce a whole range of new technologies into the consumer marketplace. On their devices, they control the entire technology stack: from hardware to software, it is all theirs. And they are the only player who has this sort of position that allows paradigm shifts to be done in-house.

For instance, they would be the only ones who could, conceivably, do a seamless job of integrating HDR into the user experience. Or WGD (Wide Gamut Displays). The latter would be particularly cool: if you are capable of doing something like a Retina display with its minuscule pixels, there is nothing that limits you to good old RGB anymore. Make it RGCB (Red Green Cyan Blue), or R/YG/BG/C/B/P (Red Yellow-Green Blue-Green Cyan Blue Purple - perhaps in some hexagonal pixel arrangement). And watch people swoon when they see the colours such displays can show. Purple and blue flowers, plants, sunsets, skies - all suddenly look vastly more natural than on an sRGB device. Cameras (at least SLRs) record wide gamut colours already, it is the displays that can't keep pace.

And what does Apple do? They now offer pink iPhone case options. Yeah, sure, guys. Makes me want to work for you - such vision, wow! :)

You seem to think that the role of private companies is to improve the products over time. Nothing in economics says that has to be true. Most large American companies are all about making the most money with the least amount of effort. Not only is there a responsibility to the shareholders, but the executive pay is almost always tied to this idea as well, in various ways. Apple is a very large American company so nobody should be surprised by the path they are taking.

Comment Re:Weaponized drones (Score 2) 49

the drone feeds could be valuable information for human rights advocates. Israeli forces have a history of violating human rights

If you're actually interested in human rights violations, instead of just protesting whatever is trendy at the local SJW chapter, look at what is being done by the Palestinians. Israel is not perfect, but to protest Israel and ignore what the Palestinians are doing is just intellectually dishonest and ignorant.

There's a huge difference between an ethnic group which uses violence because they are being oppressed and mistreated, and an occupying power that uses violence in an attempt to stop or defend against that violence. It's a situation where naturally, violence begets violence, and "retaliations" and "reactions" will continue indefinitely.

If you treat people unfairly, they will act out. That's true for my 4 year old son, it's true for the people who work under me, and it is true for Israel and the Palestinians. Most people don't act out without good reasons. If you give a man a place to live, security against violence, a way to make money, and opportunities for his children to have the same or better life when they grow up, that man will focus on taking care of his family and getting on with his life. Even very impoverished people are generally happy with those elements. The fact that this kind of life is not available to many people who live in Gaza or the West Bank is the reason for the violence on the Palestinian side.

Focusing on the fundamentals of why people are acting out is the only way to solve them. The Palestinians don't have the power or the money to fix these things alone. Israel does, but every house they destroy, every factory they demolish, every field they bulldoze, and every restriction they put on Gaza is working against actually solving the real problem.

Nobody is ignoring what the Palestinians are doing. Both sides employ violence. The violence has lasted for decades- there are clearly underlying problems that can't be solved by violence. In that sense, I would put forth that the violence on both sides is irrelevent and a distraction from the real problems of housing, job security, and opportunities for the young people.

Comment Re:I'd love to see "None of the Above" (Score 1) 171

That would be a terrible idea, and would discourage minor party and independent candidates even more than the current two-party scam.

Why? If none of the previous candidates could run, the political parties involved would have to put forth completely new candidates. It's a reset. All of the money and campaigning done before wouldn't matter at all. Democracy needs an "All of these candidates were terrible" option rather than simply voting for the lesser of 2 or 3 evils that we have now.

Comment Re:Go go IoT!! (Score 1) 35

This is going to get very interesting as the IoT bubble continues inflating. I'm not in the industrial space, but I do work in an environment with lots of legacy serial devices. There is serious denial that these things still exist to a big extent -- most non-technical people assume everything is USB or has some other connectivity. PC manufacturers have gotten away from shipping PCs with serial ports, and often the solution touted is serial-to-Ethernet bridges like the ones in the article. This is especially true as the pressure to lighten up the edge devices increases (i.e. replace a PC with a tablet.)

The truth is that in any vertical market, very little is done to keep up with security. Look at the link - it took from November 11 to December 30 for the vendor to patch the firmware, and this was for a public, open-authentication level bug. If the IoT is going to catch on, stuff like this needs to be fixed. You can't just put a magic "put it on the Internet" box in front of a legacy device and assume the vendor is doing everything possible to find and fix flaws. This goes double for stuff like serial gateways that don't get much use outside of a few key sectors. (Hint: those key sectors tend to control a lot of very important infrastructure!!)

The article summary mentions "internet connected industrial devices" but these are just serial to ethernet bridges/servers. Just looking at some of their products , it is clear to me that this type of equipment is intended for closed, air-gapped LAN networks. Anyone who puts these on an externally-facing IP address is just asking for trouble. That's not the vendor's fault, that's just a very bad implementation by the end-user or network designer.

Comment Re:Might cause more problems in a big company (Score 1) 258

Everyone who works for a big enough organization has probably run into people who you have no idea how their salary is justified. I'm not just talking about "oh, I'm better than him because I know more," I'm talking about the secrets that confidential salaries can hide: - Board members' less-than-qualified family members/business associates/friends getting paid a relatively huge salary compared to their role/contribution - Senior level people who have been "parked" after a division closure or similar event -- often because they have lots of knowledge that would otherwise disappear, more often because they are politically connected - Revealing how much politics really affects salaries would be a huge morale-buster.

The bigger the organization, the more these become apparent. For example, look at HP laying off 30,000 employees or IBM laying off 20,000. Most of it is probably offshore talent replacement in these cases, but I'm sure there are plenty of highly-compensated people left over from acquisitions, etc. that they're just taking the opportunity to purge because they were making a lot of money and not contributing a lot.

I agree with your first paragraph- there are about 6 father/son pairs in my company of just ~55 employees, and in many cases, one of the employees is terrific, and the other is completely worthless. Sometimes it is the father, and sometimes the son. It is impossible to get rid of the "bad" one without risking the "good" one leaving as well.

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